Botox Lip Flip:
How Many Units Will You Need?

by Linda Robison

For a Botox lip flip, how many units are needed for best results?

This is an important question. Why? Because injecting too many units into the lip area can lead to uncomfortable (temporary) side effects.

botox lip flip how many units needed

So, getting the dosage right is crucial, as I'll explain further in this article, along with pictures of my injections and before and after results.

If you've ever wanted a little boost for your lips without committing to expensive filler injections or lip augmentation, then a Botox lip flip treatment might be right for you.

This popular cosmetic procedure is favored because it's a cheap and fast way to give your pout a subtle enhancement.

But just how many units of Botox does it take to achieve those luscious results? Let's dive in and find out.

What is a Botox Lip Flip

First things first, let's break down what exactly a Botox lip flip entails.

Botox lip flip injection on upper lip and bottom lip.

Unlike traditional dermal fillers that add lip volume, a lip flip works by relaxing the muscles around your mouth. This causes your top lip to gently curl upward and your lower lip (if you get injections into the lower lip) to curl out and slightly downward.

This helps create the illusion of fuller lips without actually adding any volume. It's a non-surgical procedure that's quick, easy, and delivers natural-looking results.

For someone like me, with naturally thin lips and a small mouth, this was the perfect solution. It helps define the shape of the lips with a more natural look than fillers. 

How Many Units of Botox Do You Need

When it comes to Botox lip flips, the number of units required can vary depending on factors like your facial features, desired effect, and the expertise of your injector.

The documented dosage ranges anywhere from 2 to 10 units. But, on average, most people will need between from 4 to 6 units.

Keep in mind that this is just a general guideline, and your healthcare provider will determine the exact dosage based on your individual needs.

But here are some things to consider…

What affects the dosage of units required

Several factors can influence the amount needed, including:

Muscle Strength: The strength of your orbicularis oris muscle, (the muscle that encircles your mouth), can affect how many units are needed to achieve the desired effect. If you have strong muscles, you may need a higher dosage.

Lip Shape: The shape of your lips and the amount of natural volume you have will also play a role. Those with thin lips or less pronounced (flat) cupid's bow may require lower dosage, compared to those with fuller lips or more defined lip contours.

Multiple Lip Fillers: If you've had a lot of filler injections, you might need more units of Botox (up to 8) for best results. This is according to Mandi Johnson, a Registered Nurse Injector at Refresh and Refine Spa. She's my go-to-girl for a lip flip procedure. 😉

Desired Look: If you're aiming for subtle enhancement, you'll likely need less compared to someone who wants a more dramatic change.

Ethnic Differences in Facial Anatomy: Anatomical differences between people of different ethnic backgrounds can affect the dosage too.

For example, studies show that people with Asian facial features might need a focused injection technique to get the best lip flip results because their muscle and lip shapes can be different from others.

But a word of caution here: It's always better to start with a smaller amount of units and asses the appearance of the lips after a week or so. If you're not happy, you can always get another injection. Why? See Side Effects below ...

A skilled injector will be able to assess your unique facial anatomy and recommend the appropriate dosage for optimal results.

Make sure to tell them your goals and your desired lip shape. Your age, medical history, and experiences with past Botox injections can also affect how many units are used.

What to Expect During the Procedure

Lip flip pics of an injection.On my left, you can see the two dots where Mandi injected 2 units of Botox. Now, she's injecting 2 units on my right side. Note: I opted for an upper lip flip only.

Getting a Botox lip flip is a relatively quick and straightforward process. Your injector will start by cleaning the treatment area and may apply a topical numbing cream for added comfort.

Note: I didn't find a topical numbing cream necessary. I hardly felt any discomfort at all.  

Using a thin needle, they'll carefully inject the Botox into specific points along the upper lip. Two on the left and two on the right. You may feel a slight pinch or sting, but the discomfort is minimal and short-lived.

The whole procedure took less than 5 minutes.

Lip flip: After care, recovery, and results

There's typically no downtime involved, and you can resume your normal activities right away. The biggest issue I experienced was two small red dots at the injection sites. Which is easily covered up with makeup.

lip flip RIGHT after injection.This is the extent of my recovery from a lip flip. Two small blood dots on either side of my lips.

After Care:

Here are some tips for post-treatment care:

  • Avoid touching or rubbing the treated area for at least 24 hours after the procedure to prevent spreading the Botox to unintended areas.
  • Refrain from strenuous physical activity, excessive sun exposure, and saunas for at least 24 to 48 hours post-treatment to reduce the risk of swelling or bruising.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol and blood-thinning medications for a few days after the procedure to minimize the risk of bruising.
  • Apply ice packs to the treated area intermittently for the first few hours after the procedure if you have any swelling and discomfort.
  • Be mindful of your facial expressions and avoid exaggerated movements of the lips for the first few days post-treatment to allow the Botox to settle properly.


Full effects are usually seen within 7-14 days as your lip(s) curls outward, giving you the pouty look you desire. You might feel the lip curling before it's visible, but be patient—it will happen.

So, below is my after picture taken 8 days after injection.

Looking back at my results, maybe I could have had more units injected for more lip projection. But, I'm happy with my results. At my age, going BIG on any procedure is not a good idea. I think small, subtle improvements always look better.😉

But, that's the beauty of starting small, as you can always add more. 

Lip flip before and afterMy Botox Lip Flip results. This is the result of getting 4 units injected into the upper lip.

FAQ: Botox lip flip

Q: What is a Russian lip flip?

A: The Russian lip flip is similar to a regular one. But the injection technique is slightly different so other muscles near by like the levator labii superioris, levator labii superioris alaeque nasi, and zygomaticus minor might also be affected even though they're not directly injected. They all work together, so when one muscle changes, it can affect the others nearby. Some people find that the Russian lip flip offers a more pronounced or dramatic effect due to its broader targeting of muscles around the upper lip.

russian lip flipOrbicularis oris is injected in a standard lip flip. In a Russian flip, the other muscles are also affected for a more pronounced effect.

Q: What is a lip flip 5 units?

A: That's where 5 units of botulinum toxin are injected into the lip area.

Q: How long does 4 units of lip flip last?

A: The duration of a lip flip's effects can differ from person to person. While online sources may suggest it lasts around 4-6 months, many individuals report noticing the effects fading between 4-6 weeks. Personally, I've found that it typically lasts about 6-8 weeks for me.

Q: Can you get too much Botox for lip flip?

A: Yes! That's why it's important to see a qualified injector who has experience with this cosmetic procedure. Remember, it's always better to start with a small amount and add more. However, if you get too many units, you'll have to wait for the botulinum toxin to wear off, which can several weeks. See potential side effects below.

Q: How fast does a lip flip kick in?

A: Full results are usually seen in about 7 days. But, sometimes you may feel the lip curling upward in a few days. I do.

Q: How can I make my lip flip last longer?

A: Come in for regular treatments before it wears off. The more often you do so, the better the chances of it lasting longer.

Q: Does it affect kissing?

A: Yes, a lip flip can potentially affect kissing by slightly altering the movement and sensation of the lips. But, most people adjust to it and have no problems.

Q: Who's not a good candidate for a flip?

A: People with allergies to botulinum toxin, certain medical conditions, unrealistic expectations, or active infections in the treatment area. It's important to check with a qualified medical professional if you have any of these issues.

Potential side effects

Side effects are common in this cosmetic treatments, but they're usually rare and mild. They include:

  • temporary bruising or swelling at the injection sites
  • mild discomfort or tenderness
  • difficulty drinking from a straw or puckering your lips

These subside within a few days and can be easily managed with over-the-counter pain relievers and ice packs.

Note: Having 4 units injected into the upper lip, I did not experience any of these side effects. Remember, results will vary from person to person.

Rare but Severe Side Effects

Receiving more units than needed may lead to rare but severe side effects, such as:

  • over-relaxation of muscles, affecting facial expressions
  • asymmetry in lip appearance, resulting in an imbalanced smile
  • difficulty speaking and eating due to muscle impairment
  • potential loss of sensation in the lips
  • longer recovery time with prolonged swelling and discomfort

How long does lip flip last

Typically, a lip flip lasts around three to four months, though for some people it could last up to four months.

Why the difference?

Several factors can affect how long it lasts, including:

  • the speed at which your body metabolizes the Botox
  • how strong or active your lip muscles are
  • and the injection technique utilized

But, the best way to maintain and prolong the results, is to get touch-up treatments every few months.

Note: In my experience, getting touch-ups can make your results last much longer. That means you won't need as many injections, and you won't have to get them as often. And it's not just true for lip flips—it works for Botox injections in other parts of your face too.

How much does it cost

Generally, a lip flip is not expensive. But prices vary depending on where you live and who does your injections.

Also, the cost of a lip flip procedure can vary depending on the type of neurotoxin used (e.g., Botox, Dysport, Xeomin), the amount (units) of product required.

My cost, at the time of injection, was $15 per unit of Botox.

So, IMO, $60 for adding a little more pucker to my pout is not bad.😉

Final Takeaway: Botox Lip Flip: How Many Units Will You Need?

If you're looking to enhance the appearance of your lips with a subtle touch, a Botox lip flip could be just the ticket.

You can achieve fuller-looking lips and a more youthful smile with just a few units, without the commitment or cost of traditional lip filler injections. While the dosage can vary, the most common range is between 4-6 units.

Also, a skilled injector might recommend a microdosing technique, starting with fewer units (2-3) and gradually adding more to achieve a natural-looking result without compromising movement.

Regardless of what you read online about the amount of units needed for a lip flip, make sure you consult with a qualified healthcare provider to discuss your goals.

With the right approach, you can enjoy natural-looking results that enhance your overall appearance and boost your confidence.